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From the Mailbag: Questions and Comments on the New Energy.gov

September 21, 2011 - 11:27am

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We've been receiving a lot of feedback on the new and improved Energy.gov -- thanks to everyone who took the time to send us your thoughts! In sifting through the mailbox, we found the majority of comments were on five items:

  1. Search
  2. The "Recharge" Banner
  3. Employee's Section
  4. Localization Issues
  5. Love it!

So we thought we'd do a quick post to address these. Let's start with:

1. Search

Ann-Claire writes: Can't find what I want anymore. Gotta hunt through my bookmarks and hope I saved a link to your very thorough energy primer. Website *does* look nice. But I did a search for "electric power distribution" and got the message "did you mean electric power district?" My bookmarks reminded me that it was EIA that put out the primer, "What is Energy?" As an experiment, I entered What is Energy? as a search item in your energy.gov search engine. Nothing useful came up. DOE has tons of useful information available to the public and relevant to my work as a curriculum developer and educator. Please, please, please cross-reference your search engines so that regardless of what department houses the information, users can find it.

Hi Ann-Claire - Great suggestion! Since launch, we've been working to improve our search functionality and will continue to do so. As part of the Department's website reform efforts, we'll be incorporating more of our Office's sites into the platform and will be indexing results to make it easier for you to find the information you need regardless of which Office created the content.

2. The "Recharge" Banner

Daniel writes: The "Recharge" banner across the top is much too big, especially for small laptop or sub notebook screens. It makes it harder to get down to the cool new links and content. The new map and data capability is great.

Thanks for the feedback Daniel! The banner generated the most comments by far (both good and bad) and, as a result, we've made a few quick fixes to make it easier to view the primary homepage content and will continue to look at ways to improve the functionality and overall user experience.

3. Employee's Section

Stanley writes: You need an employee's section, can't find anything related to doing my job. The directives are hidden, no training link to the On line learning center, hard to find information on programs and cyber security.

Hi Stanley - You can find a section "For Staff & Contractors" in our primary navigation http://energy.gov/staff-and-contractors -- and we'd love your specific feedback on how we can improve our internal communications. If you're looking for information specific to a Department Office, you can consult the Office Directory. The DOE Directives site has not yet been integrated into the platform, but you can find it through the About Us section of the site or visit it directly at https://www.directives.doe.gov

4. Localization

Doug writes: Sorry, guys: I'm seeing Texas-only, Ohio-only, Florida-only Local Savings. Module appears not to know or care that I've signed in as a New Jerseyan. Good luck ironing out the post launch kinks!

Dear Doug, Thanks for the head's up! Our localization feature was having trouble with certain zipcodes at launch but we've since corrected it. We hope you'll come back, check out some savings for New Jersey and let us know what other improvements you'd like to see.

5. Love it!

We've decided not to post some of the positive comments we've been getting about the new platform since we have a long way to go. But the entire Energy.gov team would like to say thanks to those who took time out of their day to let us know they love the new site. Your comments are sincerely appreciated and we look forward to making additional improvements to your experience during the months to come.

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